Prominent Kashmir born businessman Mubeen Shah has been released for three months after 124 days of detention at the Agra prison in keeping with the assurance given by the Centre. Kashmir trade body welcomed the development and hoped it would be followed by more releases, Hindustan Times reported.
Shah is an NRI who runs a handicraft business from Malaysia and has an extended family along with business associations in Kashmir. He was detained on the night of August 4, before J&K special status was revoked, under the public safety act which led to demands in India and the US for his release, said the report.
“He has been released for three months on a temporary basis. He has to surrender again on March 7,” Hindustan Times quoted Shah’s brother-in-law, Shoaib Shahdad as saying.
He said Shah was due for surgery and will undergo certain medical tests in Delhi.
“He has lost a lot of weight, around 20 kgs. Before his arrest on August 4, he was to undergo a surgery which could not happen. His family is also there,” he said.
Shah’s wife Asifa Mubeen had challenged his detention in the Supreme Court and sought that he be produced before the court, said the report.
“Solicitor General early this week had committed before the Supreme Court that the government was in the process of releasing him,” Hindustan Times quoted Shahdad as having said.
The issue of Shah’s detention was also raised in the US by some human rights activists and Indian American lawmakers during Congressional hearings on the Jammu and Kashmir situation.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) hailed his release.
“We welcome his release and want that the development prompts a trend of the release of all the Kashmir traders, civil society members , lawyers and others who have been in preventive detentions lodged here and outside the valley,” the newspaper quoted Sheikh Ashiq, KCCI president as saying.
Hundreds of people including mainstream politicians like Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti were put in preventive custody ahead of the revocation of J&K’s special status on August 5.
Farooq Abdullah is detained at his Gupkar residence, while Omar Abdullah is held at Hari Niwas and Mehbooba Mufti at a guest house of the estates department.
Over 30 other political leaders are under detention at government-owned MLA hostel on the MA Road.
Two leaders Hakeem Yasin and Ashraf Mir were recently shifted to their respective homes from MLA hostel.
In October, the administration had said that at least two PDP leaders were released and one Congress leader allowed to move out of his house on health grounds. All the three are former members of the now-defunct legislative assembly, reported Hindustan Times.